I decided to revise this chapter a little bit, making it easier to read. It was my first chapter ever….so I thought a little reworking wouldn't hurt

I also thought that maybe I'm not getting all that many reviews because people don't read all the way through after being chased away by a tedious first chapter….if this is your first time, please read all the way through, i know this chapter might seem a little slow….but you shouldn't be disappointed…

So on with it...

-------And Life Goes On-------

Things hadn't changed too much since the party of eight had come home. New Vale was finally reaching completion. Ivan and Sheba were settling down into their new home, reaching the decision that Vale could use some wind adepts. Felix was taking them under his wing along with Jenna in his newly finished home, with plenty of room for get togethers and parties, though he was kind of against the idea of having parties under his roof. Garet's father kept his position as mayor of Vale and Garet's siblings only served to be more and more of an annoyance to him, although half the time it was the other way around.

Picard decided that he would have a little more fun in the outside world. Besides, Vale could always use a Mercury aligned adept. Mia decided to stay just a little bit longer before setting out for Imil to finish the training of Megan and Justin. Isaac felt a slight twinge at that, but shrugged it off. Isaac and Co had built a beautiful new home for Dora, overlooking a part of the new town and Mt. Aleph at the same time. Too soon, however, it was time to say good bye to their many-time-a-savior.

"Man, what is it with Garet and late." Isaac sighed as he waited impatiently for his best friend. Garet hadn't always been a tardy person, but recently for reasons that no one understood, he had been showing up late for dinners and social events. "Oh, look, here comes the brute."

"Sorry about that, was looking up some stuff at Kraden's place," panted Garet as he ran up short of breath. Sheba and Ivan looked at each other with the "huh?" look on their faces, clearly anticipating a chance to mind read the Mars adept later.

The seven were waiting for Mia to come out of the inn, where she had been staying for the past several months. Picard was going to escort her in the long journey to Imil, and besides, he had always wanted to see what the Mercury lighthouse was like. Felix, Isaac and the rest of them shifted uncomfortably in the sun, waiting for the angel of their group to come out. Each and everyone of them had in some point of their journey across Weyard, owed their life to Mia and her healing specialty, so in turn, all of them wanted to say a proper farewell. The door to the inn swung forward, and out stepped the young woman who everyone had come to know and love.

"Whoa, did the whole town come to see me off?" asked Mia as she stepped into the sunlight and saw that nearly the entire town had come to the square where the inn was situated. She had a small backpack with all she needed for the journey to Imil, and she smiled as she noticed the rather large pack that Picard had on his back. "Ready to leave?" Picard had become a big brother figure to Mia during the relatively short time they had known each other. Mia taught him more about the healing powers of Mercury, and Picard showed her the potential in the offensive and defensive powers of Water.

"Yeah, anytime you're ready, but I think one of our co-leaders has a little something for you." Picard stepped back as Isaac stepped forward with a long, thin bundle. Isaac had been working in the blacksmiths and carpentry shops for quite a while after rebuilding them in the aftermath of the Golden Sun. His work was now revealed. The plain tan cloth fell away to reveal not a rod of the sort that Mia had been using throughout her life, but a staff, a staff of brilliant proportions.

It was a smooth, white pole; the tip of the staff reaching to a point just above her head. The ivory whiteness opened up near the top into a pointed flower half encasing the entire focus of everyone who "Ahhh"ed and "Ooooh"ed. The ivory wood held a blue sapphire, easily the length of a hand and as wide at the middle, the widest point. The white wood held the gem in place with four outward angled pieces at the gem's four defined edges but the anchors only reached halfway up the gem to the widest point, leaving the top of the sapphire exposed for the sun to glitter down upon. It was a work of art, and the whole town knew it.

"… … … so I guess that's what he's been doing these past couple months… … …" said a shocked Garet. He wasn't the only owner of a surprised face. Everyone looked at Isaac with deep admiration and envy at Mia for owning such a staff. Even, Ivan who knew his leader had been crafting something to this extent was blown away by the magnificent skill of his "big bro."

Isaac looked around sheepishly, clearly taken aback by the attention. No one looked convinced that it wasn't beautiful enough to compare to the works of the heavens themselves, but Isaac had always been humble and never complacent in the things he did.

Mia and the rest of the group could only stare in admiration."Wow, thanks…really…it's wonderful…" And with that Mia threw herself onto Isaac with arms wrapped around him and the staff held tightly in one hand. "Thank you so much for everything. I'll treasure this staff for the rest of my life and I've loved being in your company. It's been more than anything I could possibly hope for in Imil. You'll visit?" And with that she gave Isaac a light peck on the cheek, leaving the Venus adept as red as the beacon in the Mars lighthouse.

The others gave the farewells one by one, and finally it came to Jenna. Jenna shyly, which was very unlike the fiery Mars adept, brought out a package of her own and presented it to Mia, her best friend for the time they had known each other, opposing elements forgotten in their gossiping and trying emotional times (such as the time when Garet spilled soup on Mia's robe and the promptly burned a hole in it trying to dry it out. Jenna helped Mia in hanging Garet over the edge of the ship as they glided over the wide, open, deep ocean). Apparently Jenna had also been spending time in the blacksmith, but instead of carpentry, it was the leather worker's shop that she had been spending her other time in.

Mia received a gorgeous set of slender gauntlets, which fit perfectly onto her slim fingers and arms. The extremely pale mythril was unlike anything anyone in their party had ever seen. The insides were lined with leather, softer than a baby's skin and along with the mythril, made this pair of arm wear; the most flexible that Mia had ever worn. There was also a sort of fiery Jenna sort of crafting in them.

There were only a few words between the two girls and few tears, but Jenna promised to visit and drag Isaac and Co. along as well. The Mercury djinn flounced around a little more with the other elemental creatures before jumping into Mia and Picard. With that, Mia left with Picard. More than anything, it was a farewell to the people of Vale as the citizens couldn't just run off and visit Imil, but to Felix, Isaac, Sheba, Ivan, Jenna, and Garet, it was just a goodbye till next time.

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A few months passed. Mia sent a letter saying she arrived safely a quick two weeks after leaving Vale, but the apparently the bird that she sent for Vale got lost or something, taking a full month and a half to bring her note to the newly finished Vale. Picard also wrote, saying he wanted to stay for a year or two to learn all he could about the powers of Mercury and Ply.

A few visitors passed through the town occasionally from Vault and even Tolbi to see the heroes of Angara and the whole of Weyard. Luckily, these visitors were few and Vale began to prosper once more as a town of adepts and many skills. Trade began to flourish as cities like Bilibin and towns such as Xian started to demand high quality Vale goods such as silverware, footwear, metal and precious stone work, lumber, etc.

Things were going well for the Valeans. Felix was kept busy in charge of the export and import of goods. Isaac further sharpened his crafting skills and brought in huge sums of money for the beautiful weapons and furniture that he made with the help of the local blacksmith and Jenna. Sheba and Ivan revealed to their buddies that Garet was always late in things because he had been studying the history of Vale, the history of Mt. Aleph and adepts, and preparing himself to become a leader of Vale; after all, his father, quote Garet, "wasn't going to be mayor forever." Isaac and Co laughed at this, but they encouraged Garet anyway; he had become a little more responsible.

Sheba and Ivan traveled through the immediate area around Vale, clearing out the harmful beasts, finding pets for the children of Vale and Vault (the closest town), handling mail, and generally doing good things for the well-being of Vale. As money flowed into Vale, the two wind adepts found themselves more and more in charge of finances. Vale didn't need money, and in fact, the people didn't really have a need for it. But the gold was kept in a vault stowed away in Felix's home, considered the most secure place in town with four powerful adepts living in it.

Jenna helped out Isaac where she could, helped Garet in his history lessons, helped Sheba and Ivan out around Vale, and was essentially a jack-of-all trades who did everything she could for her home.

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"Bah….I'm bored," said Isaac one day, sitting at home with his mother and Garet in the living room. "It's been a year and two months since Picard and Mia left. Wow, time really flies with the all the stuff going around here. We should go pay them a visit. Garet?"

"Mmffmmuurrgfffmmm" mumbled the Mars Adept. He swallowed the cake he had been working on. "Yeah, that's a good idea. It's a good time of year to make the two week journey there and we can make it back in time for summer in Vale. The roads should be good. I'll go call up everyone to meet in the plaza in half an hour. " He walked out with a handful of watermelon. Isaac shook his head. He was amazed at how much Garet had changed in his self training to be a leader of the people.

Humming a tune, Garet rounded up the old gang and laid out a detailed plan and schedule he thought out in the half hour that everyone was congregating in the plaza. "Yeah, so if we leave within the week, make it to Imil in two weeks, spend a week to three weeks there, come back in two weeks, we should be back for summer and the start of the busiest season for Vale."

"Seems like Garet's gotten himself organized and thinking, albeit a few years later than the rest of us," remarked Felix.

"Hey, what's that supposed to mean?!?"

"Just speaking the truth," his face slightly crinkling with hidden smiles

Ivan butted in, "We should set out soon, sometime tomorrow then? That should give us plenty of time to prepare for the journey." The party of six agreed and the next day, set out for the far away town of Imil.

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"Damnit Garet!!! We've gotten lost again! What is freaking wrong with you! Why the heck did we let Isaac hand over the map to a lousy navigator!" screamed Jenna. After passing through Bilibin, the party had gotten lost as Garet asked to lead them around and give Isaac and Felix a break. "Next time, no shortcuts!" Jenna seemed to be getting into more and more fits of rage at one of her best friends. Of course, it was a friendly rage, but with her mouth wide open and angry words flying out, it didn't seem like anything friendly.

Felix merely sighed and continued walking. Isaac, Sheba, and Ivan were together discussing random topics among themselves, ignoring the blunders and stupidity of Garet. There wasn't much the party could do except follow up on Garet's actions and hope for the best; even though he had changed, he was still a terrible tracker and navigator.

Suddenly a rattling sound rounded a bend in the path. Three goblins spotted the party and immediately went into a frenzy, their maces and chains rattling in a lust for violence. Isaac and Felix went into battle mode. "Jenna, Sheba, Ivan to the back, use psynergy and Jenna use your healing powers when you see someone struggling," shouted Isaac. "This'll be good experience for us, seeing as we haven't actually fought in quite a while," Felix said to himself. "Garet, Isaac, with me!" With that, Felix dove into battle, drawing his Sol Blade and casting a small Earthquake at the same time.

Apparently, it was a full goblin squad. 20 of the little bastards were running at the party of six. "Shine Plasma!" "Tornado!" yelled Sheba and Ivan. Electricity tore through the enemy ranks and winds threw around some units, several were killed outright. Jenna watched in awe as Garet literally threw himself onto units without heed or care for injuries. His Fire Brand unleashed Purgatory twice, incinerating a few of the ugly beasts.

Isaac's Gaia blade was a viper among his clumsy opponents. Slashing and weaving in and out, his sword was deadly. There wasn't a sword master anywhere that could match Isaac. His blade unleashed the giant Titan blade, which was ironic since the Gaia blade wasn't all that big itself, more of a long sword than a broadsword.

Realizing that Garet was calling for an energy boost, Jenna threw her arms out and raised her Tisiphone Edge, casting Aura to rejuvenate the slightly tiring party and then a Fireball, a myriad of balls of fire that crashed into the goblins, sending them reeling backwards to be finished off by a Storm Ray or the thrust of a sword. A goblin sneaked around to Felix's unprotected back only to be thrown aside by Ivan's Kikuichimonji's Asura. Sheba with her Lachesis' Rod managed to hold back two goblins at once, showing how far the 16 year old girl had come in a year. With a final Vengeance from Jenna's Edge and a Megiddo from Felix's Sol Blade, the squad of short little ugly goblins was sent sprawling in all directions.

"Whew, that was actually kinda fun," said Isaac. Amazingly, he wasn't even breathing hard. He twirled his blade back into its scabbard. "We didn't even need to use our djinn. Interesting though, I've never seen goblins work together in groups before."

Garet was panting with several cuts on his arms and back, "What does it matter, hey Ivan, pass me an herb will you. It should be plenty strong enough for these scratches. Thanks shorty."

"Don't call me that you big oaf!"

"Who you calling oaf, twerp!"

"Twerp?!? At least I know how to navigate through caves and forests. Your brain should be considered twerpy!"

"Is twerpy even a word, mister-I-know-everything."

Felix pounded Garet on the back telling him that they had gotten out of the Bilibin-Goma forests and it was no time to be arguing. Garet looked up at the direction that Felix was pointing. The intimidating Goma range had one way through it, and that was the dark, cavernous Goma Cave. Something or someone had put out all the torches that were in the cave trail before, so the path looked freakishly dark and evil. With a sigh, Isaac walked in first, Gaia Blade in hand and Flint on his shoulder.

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Author's note: So, that was my first fic ever…wouldn't mind some reviews. The battle scene seemed a little awkward to me, but it's the reader's opinion that counts. Pairings are as of now, undecided. Picard sounds a little better than Piers. The weapons I'm a little iffy on their unleashes and who can use which weapons. More chapters are coming. Suggestions on anything?

Revision A/N: Hmmm…to put it simply…just review, or keep reading if you haven't already... :)